Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Cowboy's Night Before Christmas

By David Kelley

'Twas just before Santy came,
the story is told.
Cattle weren't stirrin', fact they's
bunched against the cold.

The tack was hung near the
chuckwagon with care.
Why, we didn't know Santy was
close anywhere.

Cowboys on the ground were
wishin' for their beds
While nightmares of wild steers
ran through their heads.

'Tween now and the next gather,
we needed a nap.
Cookie had just finished, and
tied down the flap.

When out past the cavvy, there
rose such a fuss,
I sprang to my feet, leavin'
the bedroll a muss,

And grabbin' my shotgun and my
ragged ol' hat
I run t'ward the racket thinkin'
"...what'n thunder's that?"

When thoughts of amazement
through my head courses,
It was a buckboard teamed up
with draft horses,

A driver in red buckskins, so
spry and dainty,
I know'd in an instant, it
must be ol' Santy.

Quicker than jackrabbits, them
horses they came,
And, he's shoutin' commands to
each one by name...

"Get a step, Joe!. One more, Prince!.
On, Big Ed!
Pick it up, Sam! Tighten up, Lou!
On, Old Ned!

Don't spook the cavvy, back away
from them pens,
You're a pullin' this wagon like a
bunch of ol' hens!

Now, when I haul on these lines
I mean to stop.
Hold up in this cow-camp like a
ton of cow flop!"

They sat down in their riggin',
like I knew they would,
With a wagon of goodies ... made
of leather and wood.

Then, in a twinklin'
with no further delay,
He said, "Back it up, boys, this
here ain't no sleigh".

I couldn't believe my ears,
and lookin' around,
Off that wagon ol' Santy came
with a bound.

He was short, and his chinks
reached near to his toes.
He was happy and fat, with
a little red nose.

There was a ton of packages
and some new tack,
And, ol' Santy was carryin' it
all on his back.

His eyes sort of bloodshot,
much like a cherry,
From 'rastlin' them horses
clean across the prairie.

His lips was plumb puckered,
his mouth drawn and droll,
(Mine got that way, the day I
swallered my Skoal.)

He was holdin' a piggin' string
tight in his teeth,
Not fer' tie down, but for tyin'
'up' a fine wreath.

His head was too big and he
had a round belly,
No doubt derived from eatin'
Texas Chili.

He's chubby and plump all right,
I'd say quite jolly.
I laughed plumb out loud when
I seen him, by golly.

He winked his bloodshot eye,
and spat 'tween his lips,
And, it made me to know we
were all in the chips.

He weren't much for chatter,
just done what was due,
Givin' presents and goodies
to the whole durn crew.

Then, he stuck his finger in
his wee little ear,
Wallered it around and said,
"We're through bein' here".

He fled to the wagon, and his
team called 'em up,
"Come on you swaybacks ... what's
the dad-burn holdup?

We won't be back till next year
'cause we're flat broke.
Merry Christmas, my eye,
I just busted a spoke!"

[Thanks to Sam Canby]